Soon, we will begin working on a document that defines LAYC’s youth development model. Yes, it is true: LAYC is a forty-year-plus multi-service organization and charter school network supporting thousands of youth and families in the metropolitan region. But that description does not do us justice. LAYC is so much bigger, richer, and spicier than those few words. We like to think of ourselves as having something very special – our own unique family recipe, our special salsa! But what exactly is in our recipe? What are the ingredients? Please write in and tell me.

LAYC’s salsa is not a simple recipe. For over forty years, our salsa has simmered and sizzled and at times, boiled over. As LAYC grows, expands, replicates, evaluates, innovates, builds partnerships and new schools understanding the ingredients of our salsa is critical. As we navigate the complex issues of our times and make choices about our future, our recipe lead the way.

Our salsa is truly a home-grown recipe. Like so many family recipes, it has not been written down, but it has been handed down through the generations. Over time, many have added their special ingredient. Our salsa is made with art, heart, and soul. Our salsa simmers in desire for social justice and is served up daily with our passion and belief that all children, youth and families deserve an excellent education, meaningful employment, social and cultural opportunities while participating in community and our world’s global village. Our salsa keeps getting better and better as we fill our measuring cup with science and technology.

So, for all of you out there who love the LAYC, please tell me what you think is in LAYC’s special salsa. As we write down our recipe, your ingredients will be mixed into our salsa for years to come.

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